January 05, 2004

Saddam in the Slammer, so why are we on Orange?

Another US soldier (the first woman fighter pilot) died over night in Iraq> For what? A neo-con wet dream...Meanwhile, SeeNotNews (CNN), AnythingButSee (ABC), SeeBS (CBS), Faux News (Fox News), NotBeSeen (NBC) and MustNotBeSeen (MSNBC) will have no problem delivering
clear images from the Mars probe tonight, too bad they
refuse to deliver a clear picture from Iraq, or even
Washington, D.C. or Waco (where the _resident has been
vacationing between fundraisers)...Here is the reality
from David Hackworth of Soldiers for The Truth (of
course, his name is scrawled on the John O'Neill Wall
of Heroes)...

David Hackworth, Soldiers for The Truth: Donald
Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and retired Gen. Tommy Franks
should be required to report to a congressional
committee convened to investigate both the invasion
and the planning – or lack of planning – for the
occupation of Iraq.

Support Our Troops, Show Up for Democracy in 2004:
Defeat Bush (again!)



Hack's Target

Saddam in the Slammer, so why are we on Orange?

By David H. Hackworth

Almost daily we’re told that another American soldier
has sacrificed life or limb in Iraq. For way too many
of us – unless we have a white flag with a blue star
in our window – these casualty reports have become as
big a yawn as a TV forecast of the weather in Baghdad.

Even I – and I deal with that beleaguered land seven
days a week – was staggered when a Pentagon source
gave me a copy of a Nov. 30 dispatch showing that
since George W. Bush unleashed the dogs of war, our
armed forces have taken 14,000 casualties in Iraq –
about the number of warriors in a line tank division.

We have the equivalent of five combat divisions plus
support for a total of about 135,000 troops deployed
in the Iraqi theater of operations, which means we’ve
lost the equivalent of a fighting division since
March. At least 10 percent of the total number of Joes
and Jills available to the theater commander to fight
or support the occupation effort have been evacuated
back to the USA!

Lt. Col. Scott D. Ross of the U.S. military's
Transportation Command told me that as of Dec. 23, his
outfit had evacuated 3,255 battle-injured casualties
and 18,717 non-battle injuries.

Of the battle casualties, 473 died and
3,255 were wounded by hostile fire.

Following are the major categories of the non-battle

Orthopedic surgery – 3,907

General surgery – 1,995

Internal medicine – 1,291

Psychiatric – 1,167

Neurology – 1,002

Gynecological – 491

Sources say that most of the gynecological evacuations
are pregnancy-related, although the exact figure can’t
be confirmed – Pentagon pregnancy counts are kept
closer to the vest than the number of nuke warheads in
the U.S. arsenal.

Ross cautioned that his total of 21,972 evacuees could
be higher than other reports because “in some cases,
the same service member may be counted more than

The Pentagon has never won prizes for the accuracy of
its reporting, but I think it’s safe to say that so
far somewhere between 14,000 and 22,000 soldiers,
sailors, airmen and Marines have been medically
evacuated from Iraq to the USA.

So at the end of this turbulent year, we must ask
ourselves: Was the price our warriors paid in blood
worth the outcome? Are we any safer than before our
pre-emptive invasion?

Even though Saddam is in the slammer and the
fourth-largest army in the world is junkyard scrap,
Christmas 2003 was resolutely Orange, and 2004 looks
like more of the same. Or worse.

Our first New Year’s resolution should be to find out
if the stated reasons for our pre-emptive strike –
Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction and
Saddam’s connection with al-Qaeda – constituted a real
threat to our national security. Because, contrary to
public opinion, the present administration hasn’t yet
made the case that Saddam and his sadists aided and
abetted al-Qaeda's attacks on 9/11. We also need to
know why our $30 billion-a-year intelligence agencies
didn’t read the tea leaves correctly, as well as
what’s being done besides upgrading the color code to
prevent other similar strikes.

Congress should get with the program and lift a page
from the U.S. Army handbook on how to learn from a
military operation. When an Army-training or
actual-combat op is concluded, all the key players
assemble for an honest, no-holds-barred critique of
everything that’s gone down – the good, the bad and
the ugly. Some of the participants might walk away
black and blue, but everyone learns from the mistakes.

Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and retired Gen. Tommy
Franks should be required to report to a congressional
committee convened to investigate both the invasion
and the planning – or lack of planning – for the
occupation of Iraq. This committee must operate
without the political skullduggery that occurred
during the numerous investigations into the Pearl
Harbor catastrophe – when high-level malfeasance that
cost thousands of lives and put America’s national
security in extreme jeopardy was repeatedly covered up
for more than 50 years.

Our Iraqi casualties deserve nothing less than the
unvarnished truth. Only then will their sacrifices not
have been in vain. And only then can we all move on
with the enlightenment we need to protect and preserve
our precious country’s future.

The address of David Hackworth's home page is
Hackworth.com. Sign in for the free weekly Defending
America column at his Web site. Send mail to P.O. Box
11179, Greenwich, CT 06831. His newest book is “Steel
My Soldiers’ Hearts.”

© 2003 David H. Hackworth.

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Posted by richard at January 5, 2004 11:53 PM